Hallowe’en Countdown VI, Day 14

« Skepticism is the highest duty and blind faith the one unpardonable sin. » — Thomas Henry Huxley

Plot-wise, this one’s a trifle, a frothy bit of nonsense, I’ll happily concede. But it’s ornately illustrated by Joe Maneely, in that busy-but-clear, rough-but-assured, scratchily cartoonish fashion of his.

I don’t know about you, but if I’d just had a bona fide supernatural encounter, it’s unlikely that my next move would be to rush to the corner store to stock up on hokey monster comics. Unless I was thinking investment.

Hey, you know who our protagonist reminds me of? Marshall Teller’s sidekick, Simon Holmes, from outstanding early ’90s TV show Eerie, Indiana. See what I mean?

Meet Simon (Justin Shenkarow, later on Picket Fences) and Marshall (Omri Katz, seen soon after in Joe Dante‘s underappreciated Matinee).
I Was Locked in a… Haunted House! originally materialised in Uncanny Tales no. 7 (Apr. 1953, Atlas), and was reprinted in the somewhat more affordable Chamber of Chills no. 15 (Mar. 1975, Marvel). Cover art by Bill Everett, colours by Stan Goldberg.

While our featured tale is saddled with the hoariest of plots, what lends it some flavour, in my book, is its rampant self-referential hucksterism (hello, Stan!), to the point that it’s practically a five-page commercial for Atlas’ supernatural titles. Still, I like it — it’s a bit of novelty.


5 thoughts on “Hallowe’en Countdown VI, Day 14

  1. nealumphred October 14, 2022 / 19:00

    Now if the new kid’s name had been Peter Parker or Ben Grimm it woulda been perfect.


  2. Richard Schmidt October 15, 2022 / 20:42

    such beautiful drawing wasted on this Stan Lee self promotion-and someone should tell Specs midnight to 1 am is 13 hours


  3. sbmumford October 16, 2022 / 08:00

    You’re right about the drawing – dense and still rougher than the sophisticates at EC. I see a bit of Reginald Marsh in the crowded city scenes, and the multi-figure panel at the bottom of page 2 is great: a symphony of wide-pant drapery worthy of Eisner.

    On the other hand his fallback ‘boy’ depictions mostly seem to involve ballooning cheeks. Nevertheless, it’s satisfying drawing. Despite, as you say, Stan’s overweening narcissism.

    Nice post. Another story that I may have read at the time of its reprint. Weird, in retrospect, how many of these 70s horror reprints I bought as a teenager; why wasn’t I reading Fantastic Four?


    • gasp65 October 17, 2022 / 23:43

      I’m in full agreement with you nearly all the way, SB — but as for the “why wasn’t I reading Fantastic Four?”, I’d have to speak from my personal experience and answer with “because it was crappy Roy Thomas/Gerry Conway/John Buscema/Rich Buckler rehashes of the Kirby glory years.” I loved FF as a kid… read them in French, and the publisher, for some reason, skipped, from one month to the next, from FF 98… to FF 122. Even as a child, I felt it as a brutal decline. To this day… ouch!


      • sbmumford October 18, 2022 / 08:25

        Yeah, I see your point about FF’s decline, post- I don’t know – 1971?
        I just missed the great Marvel Silver Age of Ditko, Kirby, Colan, Steranko, et al.

        I came into comics at an interesting time though, with a new post-Vietnam, post-hippy marijuana-infused gothic sensibility: Marvel kicked it off with Smith’s Conan, followed by the Severinos’ Kull; then DC jumped in with Wrightson’s Swamp Thing and Kaluta’s Shadow; never one to be ignored, Kirby reinvented himself at DC with Demon and Kamandi.
        And all those cosmic god tropes by both Kirby and Starlin over at Marvel…
        All very black-light poster-ish, but a tremendously fertile period.

        Liked by 1 person

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